Legion-backed tuition assistance lives

It’s now a sure thing. The military’s tuition assistance program will not be suspended after all. Legislation to that effect was signed by President Obama on March 26.

At the urging of The American Legion, among others, and the insistence of Congress, the military tuition assistance program has been revived, at least through the end of the current fiscal year. This occurred by way of an amendment to the current congressional spending plan. Sequestration-driven budget cuts had caused the Marines, Army and Air Force to announce suspensions of new enrollments in the program that offsets higher education costs for active-duty servicemembers.

“This is good news not just for active duty personnel, but for the nation as a whole,” American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz said. “As I said during recent congressional discussions of this issue, well-educated, ‘professionalized’ servicemembers serve the military more ably. And, when they transition to civilian life, they are more valuable in the workplace. They also stand a better chance of success in a tough job market. It’s all good.”

Due to necessary fiscal maneuverings required by the new law, there is some question as to precisely when the programs will be restarted. Pentagon officials indicate plans to restore the education aid are in the works and will be finalized shortly.

The American Legion, VFW and Student Veterans of America had all taken part in lobbying efforts opposing suspension of military tuition assistance.